Disclaimer: I do not own the hunger games, or any of the characters, etc. also the idea for this story was inspired by neon genesis who wrote a couple one shots with this theme for some of her naruto fics. she's brilliant.
It started with prim, and also the four am metro but mostly prim. Two years ago, when Katniss and Prim had moved to Chicago as a med student and a recent med school graduate it was the perfect way to commute together to the hospital in the heart of the city.
Prim also loved seeing all the people and kids which were sometimes thick despite the early time. But the one thing prim loved most of all was getting a cheese bun and a cup of coffee from Mellarks before boarding the train.
Despite Prim moving away a year and three months ago to be with her now fiancé, Rory, in New York and finish med school there, Katniss found herself using the same routine. Wake up at three, take a twelve minute shower, braid her hair, get dressed and feed her sisters ugly cat buttercup who prim begged her to keep until her and Rory could find a place that accepted pets. She had begrudgingly agreed. Katniss would then promptly arrive at the station with just enough time to snag her breakfast from mellarks before getting to the train.
Two months after Prims departure, Katniss also found herself one more thing to add to her routine, a small non committal head nod to the sexy blonde man who was always sitting to left of the door she would step into.
The nod had started the first day she saw him, he looked out of place in her usual line of vision, and while new people weren't a uncommon thing, a tall, muscular blonde haired young man dressed in a expensive suit was, business men didn't usually board the train until six or seven. So Katniss raked her eyes over him noting the blonde waves and blue eyes with sun kissed skin and a few freckles scattered on the skin shadowed by his buttery eyelashes. She trailed her vision lower, noting the crisp suit, long thick fingers and on the ring finger of his left hand, a victor ring.
He was a gangster. A Victors gangster—he belonged to the most powerful gang in Chicago.
Only after realizing she had all but mentally undressed him she looked up at his face, to which he gave her a smile that just seemed so genuinely sweet with just the right touch of shyness that an unexpected rush of warmth rushed through her. At this Katniss gave a simple nod as a scowl slid over her face. She turned sharply choosing to sit as far away from him as possible, hoping the tips of her ears weren't noticeably red.
He must take the stop after hers because he is always sitting there with that stupid smile whenever Katniss arrives and leaves. So this is how it starts, she boards the train to see him right in his usual spot, he smiles, she scowls and they both nod before Katniss shuffles to her seat.
Today starts as a normal day. I shower, gets ready and feed the cat before making my way to the subway. However when I board the metro there are three new people dressed in all black, seemingly a few years younger than me, looking around before there eyes land on me. I make a hasty nod to my gangster and starts to walk to my seat—occupied by them men in black. They looking at me like a piece of meat, So I take a step backwards and turn, sliding into the seat by my gangster.
The trio watches me for two stops before one of them makes a move. He strolls up casually, before asking me to join them to which I politely decline.
It isn't until he pulls out a pocket knife and asks; "Are you sure?" That I really wish I had invested in pepper spray or maybe had brought my bow and arrows. Instead I deepen my scowl and stand up before replying, "Yeah I'm sure. Piss off."
As I make to leave, the subway is slowing for my stop, I feels a warm hand on my lower back. My gangster is standing right next to me, his hand showing his ring pressed firmly but gently against the base of my spine. The trio must see it, for they blanch and the guy with the pocket knife hastily shoves it back and takes a seat.
I look to them and then back at my gangster thinking he will sit back down, this isn't his stop, but he doesn't. He continues guiding me out from the subway and up to the waking up city. Hand still perched on my back.
When we finally stop, I turn my head to see him already looking down.
"Um..Thank you." I murmur, playing with the zipper on the front of her jacket before glancing back up at him out of the corner of my eye. He seems amused and lets out of puff of air that must be laugh. "I didn't do anything." He states with a smile. Silence engulfs us and when he realizes that I wont be saying anything else he speaks again.
"I'm Peeta." He offers, holding out a hand.
"Katniss." I reply, offering my hand hesitantly which he takes in his large warm one.
"Hello Katniss, where are you off to this morning, would you mind if I walked you? He asks me gently. I'm thrown off, I want to say no, tell him that he should go back, that he broke our routine but I'm strangely thankful and so I say the first thing that I can think of, "This isn't your stop." This only makes his grin wider. "That's very true, but I'd feel better if I made sure you arrived safely to wherever you're going." He tells me simply. I cant tell him no, he's a victor. So I swallow my annoyance and give him a small okay.
He seems happy with that and drops his hand from my back and begins to walk before turning back to me, "where to?" he questions breezily.
"Uh, the hospital—Northwestern." I reply. Breaking out of my trance and walking forward to where he stands. We walk quietly for a few minutes before talks again. "Doctor or nurse?" he asks, turning his face towards me.
"Doctor, well, a resident doctor." I tell him. He looks mildly impressed but doesn't say anything else as we continue to walk. When we finally make it to the entrance of the hospital I open my mouth to tell him goodbye but he beats me to it and asks, "What time do you get off?"
I'm silent for a minute, before I tell him "uh, one."
He seems to mull around the time for a few minutes before ultimately looking satisfied with my answer. I take a few steps forward and look over my shoulder at him, "Bye." I call out. He shakes his head with a smile, "Bye Katniss, I'll see you tomorrow."
With that I turn my head and walk into the hospital, determined to at least finish my day without further deviating from my routine.
I sigh as I step to the subway, the doors slide open and I see Peeta, all blonde hair and a deep blue suit, who smiles and nods to which I just nod. However today I step towards him and he quirks an eyebrow as slide into the seat next to him.
Neither of us say anything and I feel the car slowing for my stop and as I stand, Peeta does too.
I look at him skeptically but shake my head, maybe he has business here today, and continue out of the doors. But when I feel that same warm palm on my lower back as yesterday I snap my head towards him eyes blazing.
"What are you doing?" I spit, defensive.
He looks mildly amused like perhaps this is what he was expecting. Before he tells me "Walking you to work. So lets go, were running late." He gives me small nudge that I resist.
"You don't have to walk me, it's fine." I tell him annoyance still fresh and bubbling.
"I'd really like to," He tells me earnestly, "I like making sure you get to work okay."
That same rush of warmth that his smile gave me on the first day I saw him, spreads through me again, further agitating me. I know I probably shouldn't be this lippy to a victor but his strange kindness is foreign and unwarranted and it unnerves me.
"Why? I'm just fine and perfectly capable of taking care of myself." I cut out.
Peeta only takes it in stride though. He's still looking at me through those buttery lashes looking amused. "I don't doubt that for a minute," He says "So how about I walk you to work for my own entirely selfish reasons of making sure you get there okay."
There's a pause before I sigh, exasperated, I'm getting no where and wasting time. "Fine. Lets go."
And we do. We walk to the hospital in silence and like yesterday. And upon arrival I turn my head to say bye, to which Peeta says the exact same thing he said the day before. "Bye Katniss, I'll see you tomorrow."
I walk into the hospital wondering if he will walk me everyday, or if maybe he just felt the need today after yesterdays almost incident. While I'm hoping this isn't an everyday occurrence I find myself not entirely upset over the prospect of this as a daily thing.
So the next day as I stand to leave from my new seat next to Peeta, and so does he, I just know this daily walk has become permanent.
This becomes my new daily routine. Wake up at three. Shower, braid my hair, get dressed and feed buttercup. Stop by Mellarks with just enough time to get into the subway give Peeta a nod and quietly slide into the seat next to Him. Peeta gives me that same smile, and waits for my stop. We stand together and he guides me out, hand against the small of my back as he walks me to work. When we are outside the hospital we exchange the same goodbyes as always and I walk into the hospital knowing I will see him tomorrow morning.
Hope you enjoyed it!
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